Supporting emerging singers and composers of vocal music
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Daniel Gundlach has been hailed as a vivid singer and actor in his appearances throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He has sung under James Conlon, Helmuth Rilling, Marc Minkowski, John Nelson, Daniel Beckwith, Jeffrey Thomas, Alain Altinoglu, James Richman, Johannes Somary, Philip Brunelle, Gwendolyn Toth, and the late Newell Jenkins, among others. His has sung with Chicago Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Minnesota Opera, Skylight Opera, Edmonton Opera, the Broomhill Festival (UK), Les Musiciens du Louvre, and the Dallas Bach Society, the Clarion Music Society, Artek, Concert Royal, Amor Artis, the Dayton Philharmonic, and the Honolulu Symphony.
He has created leading roles in six contemporary operas, including the world premiere of Gualtiero Dazzi’s Le Luthier de Venise at the Théâtre du Châtelet and Pascal Dusapin’s Perelà, l’homme de fumée at the Opéra de Paris and at the Opéra de Montpellier. A live recording of these latter performances has been recently released on the Naïve Classics label.
A frequent recitalist, Mr. Gundlach has appeared on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago and on St. Bartholomew’s Concert Series and at the Donnell Library in New York, at Lawrence University, Northwestern University, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Illinois in Urbana. He also was featured in American Chamber Opera’s staged production of Pierrot Lunaire, which used his own English translation. He will repeat his Pierrot with the Da Capo Chamber Players at Middlebury College in January, 2008. In the fall of 2006, he appeared in New York and Chicago with countertenor Mark Crayton in a series of recitals entitled "Conversations: New Music for Two Countertenors" featuring newly-commissioned work by eight different composers. He is currently developing a cabaret act entitled Those Who Carry Torches, which will be seen in New York City in fall 2008.
Elizabeth Auman is a music historian, archivist, acquisitions specialist, fund-raiser, concert and recording producer, appraiser, librarian and musician who has worked in the Library of Congress's Music Division for 38 years. Her focus f or most of those years has been on acquisitions—especially those of special collections—multi-format materials representing the complete lives and works of those whose materials they are. She has worked with many of the major figures in American music.
During her tenure at the Library, she has been instrumental in building a world-class music collection there; has been acquisitions and archival consultant to numerous private collections; has acted as a trusted advisor to the families and Estates of many noted composers, arrangers, orchestrators, and performers. She is a noted specialist in American musical theater (Grammy producer nominations for two restored Gershwin shows), American art song (Grammy producer nomination for Ned Rorem’s Evidence of Things Not Seen), the Romantic era (particularly Brahms and Liszt), and the Renaissance (Italian and English vocal/chamber music and their interrelationships).
She has been on the faculty of The Catholic University of America. She is also a free-lance consultant on and appraiser of performing arts-related archives. In her spare time, she loves to read, garden, play with her cats, and spend time on her property near Green River, Utah.
Linn Maxwell, a mezzo-soprano, has performed on the stages of major orchestras, opera companies and recital halls across the United States and 25 foreign countries. She has also performed cabaret and one-woman shows in New York City and in March 2006 made her European cabaret debut at the International Theater, Frankfurt, Germany. A native of Indiana, Ms. Maxwell has been a soloist with the orchestras of Toronto, Cleveland, Chicago, Seattle, Oregon, Puerto Rico, San Antonio, Kansas, Rochester, Denver, Brooklyn, Minnesota and the Orchestra of the U.N.A.M of Mexico City.
In demand with oratorio and choral societies, Ms. Maxwell has appeared with the Bach festivals of Rochester, New York (for twelve seasons), Oregon (with Helmuth Rilling), Kalamazoo and Carmel. She is the founder of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, past-president of Joy in Singing, and has appeared with the Oratorio Society of Washington at the Kennedy Center, the Pro Arte Chorale at Carnegie Hall, the Oratorio Society of Utah in a nationally televised performance of Handel’s Messiah from the Mormon Tabernacle, and on several occasions with Musica Sacra at New York’s Lincoln Center. In recent seasons she has sung the Mozart Requiem with the Sofia, Bulgaria Philharmonic, premiered Mary Cassatt by Libby Larsen with the Grand Rapids Symphony, performed a concert of Russian opera arias with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and premiered a song cycle by Patrick Kavanaugh at Washington’s Kennedy Center in 2002.
Ms. Maxwell began her career in Europe, spending two seasons at the Städtische Bühnen in Essen, Germany where she sang Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, also singing major roles with the opera companies of Strasbourg, Lyon, Toulouse, the Netherlands (where she sang Baroque operas with Nicholas Harnancourt and Rosina in Barbiere di Siviglia), Hungarian State Opera and concerts with the Berlin Radio Orchestra. Her opera engagements in the U.S. have included San Francisco Opera, again as Rosina, two appearances with Santa Fe Opera, and Tales of Hoffmann with Cincinnati Opera.
Ms. Maxwell is a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds a Master of Music degree from the Catholic University of America. She has recorded for RCA Red Seal, New World, Centaur and Albany Records.
After studying Literature and Philosophy in Lille and graduating in Germanic Studies at the University of Paris, Damien Top studied Singing and Dramatic Art at the Conservatoire in Lille. Later, at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, he joined the classes of Nicole Broissin (Atelier Lyrique-Opérette) and Corazza (Vocal Technique), Isabelle Aboulker (Musical Theory), and studied with Galina Vischnievskaya, Jean-Christophe Benoit, and Jacques Pottier (Melbourne University).
His dual training as a singer and an actor enables him to appear in opera, operetta, and sacred works, as well as perform the difficult repertoire of French mélodie — his favorite genre. He has given recitals at Flaneries Musicales de Reims for the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, Musicales en Valois, Festival des Grands Crus de Bourgogne, Festival de la Mélodie Française de Toulouse, etc. As a renowned interpreter of French song, Damien Top frequently gives recitals abroad, including performances in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Macedonia, New Zealand, and the United States. In Diapason, critic Jean Roy wrote of Top, "one will not reproach him error of taste."
In 1993, he was engaged by the Opera de Paris-Bastille to sing in a new production of Benvenuto Cellini by Berlioz. In 2000, he performed in Heloise and Abelard by Australian composer Peter Tahourdin, toured France and Poland with Mozart's Requiem, sung at the Bitola International Festival and gave a recital of operatic arias with the Hawaii Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2002, Damien Top took part at "Musica in Mostre" a festival of contemporary music in Torino, sang and conducted the cantata L'oiseau a vu tout cela by Sauguet at the Institut de France-Académie Française for the celebration of the Centenary of Vercors. In 2006, he sang in Torino, Palermo, Paris, Bailleul, Cassel, Tournus, Honolulu, Sherbrooke, etc.
Damien Top has studied Analysis, Harmony and the History of Music at the Paris Conservatoire with Michel Qu´val. Under the guidance of Sergiu Celibidache, he began research into musical aesthetics and attended seminars in the phenomenology of music. With these two master teachers, he was introduced to orchestral conducting. He has conducted the Orchestre du Festival Roussel, Joseph Jongen Ensemble, Czech Chamber Soloists, and Prague Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, among others. In his programs, he particularly focuses on the music of our time (Roussel, d'Indy, Delvincourt, Enesco, Jersild, Martinet, Sandagerdi, Martinu, Looten, Macha, Ratovondrahety, Tahourdin, etc.).
Son of the poet Andrée Brunin, Damien Top has given poetry recitals (Alliance Française de Sydney, Université de Melbourne, Société d'Honneur Pi-Delta-Phi d'Hawaii, Wo International Center, etc.) He explores a wide range of the repertoire and introduces the audience to the poetry of our time (Anthologie de la poesie française, Poetes féminins contemporains, Centenaire Verlaine,etc.)
Biographical and musicological work on Albert Roussel has been a particular feature of Damien Top's research and in 1989, in the composer's birthplace, he devoted an entire recital to Roussel's mélodies. His biography of Albert Roussel was published in 2000 by Editions Seguier and he has also written full length studies on Sergei Rachmaninov and Rene de Castera, for which he was awarded the Prix du Salon du Livre d’Hossegor. Consequently, he is frequently invited to speak on radio and television (France Musique, France Culture, Hawaii Public Radio, Radio Suisse Romande, FR3, NPS Dutch TV); to present papers on French music at international conferences and to give masterclasses in French art song at University of Melbourne, Monash University, La Trobe University, University of Performing Arts at Wollongong, Wellington University, James Maddison University, Université de Sherbrooke, Université de Montreal.
In response to his fine talents as a singer, several composers have written music especially for him: Aboulker, Carr, Choveaux, Cox, Dunleavy, Feron, Flament, Joly, Pinchard, Surianu, Tahourdin, Trumble, Werder, and Jacques Chailley who considers "l'art de Damien Top est exemplaire." Among others, Top recorded Massenet song's cycles (BNL), De Coussemaker's romances (RCP), Goue’s songs (Recital)
Damien Top writes the musical chronic in the monthly "Politique Magazine." Member of the SACEM, his compositions have been played in France, Belgium, Italy, United States. Involved in many organizations, he is at the head of the "Centre International Albert-Roussel" which he founded in 1992 and the director of the "Albert-Roussel International Festival."
In 2002 Damien Top was awarded with the "Prix Charles Oulmont — Fondation de France" for his outstanding career.